Friday, December 24, 2004

Happy Christmas everyone!!!

Since I am not a Christian I won't be celebrating it. But I am sure many will.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Film Review: Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events

The movie is different from the books in several ways. The film was targeted at kids hence some of the darker stuff from the books were left out. Scenes were chopped off and rearranged and some new ones added. (This version crams book 1-3 into a 2 hour cut)

As usual the performance by Jim Carrey carried the weight of the film although in my opinion the character of Count Olaf could have been played a little bit darker as was in the books.

Read the books first like I did, and you might be dissapointed in the adaptation. Watch the movie first and you might find yourself enjoying the books a little more.

Still it was a mildly enjoyable film that after a series unfortunate events received the usual dreaded Hollywood treatment.

5.5/10

Friday, December 17, 2004

Gamer buys virtual island

A 22-year-old Aussie gamer by the moniker of Deathifier has spent £13,700 on a virtual island that does not exist in the physical World. It only exist in the online World of Project Entropia game. The owner intends to develop the island and then sell plots of lands to other gamers.

Well, this is not really shocking as people has always paid real money for virtual items only found in MMORPGs games. Still this is big news because of the money involved.

Source: Slashdot

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Blunkett resigns

The UK's Home Secretary Rt. Hon. David Blunkett has resigned.

Well, I am glad he is gone. I read the news on BBC News website but will miss the action on TV tonight as I will be out. Damn it, I really want to see all the ruckus in the Commons chamber!

The only good thing I can remember he did was bringing down the classification of cannabis to Grade C status drug. I don't do drugs, but who cares! This resignation is long overdue. I am not sure why he has been slow in this tardy action but its good that it has happened. Quite why he wasn't sacked for having a relationship with a right wing conservative Tory, The Spectator's American publisher Kimberly Quinn. Probably proves how well the New Labour overlords are with the Tories.


Now lets hope the ill-conceived right wing totalitarian policies created by him would also be banished forever. Oh and Tony too. And Geoff. And Jack. Lets drop the whole New Labour experiment crap. People vote Labour because it is supposed to have a socialist agenda.

Still, we probably won't hear the last of him. Remember how Tony brought back Alan and Peter? I am sure he is thinking of a way to make David the Chancellor (and stab Gordon in the back).

Source: BBC News

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

World's tallest bridge opens

The World's highest road bridge has been inaugurated in France by President Jacques Chirac. The Millau bridge which towers over 340m is even taller than the Eiffel Tower, and its spans over the River Tarn in the Massif Central mountains. The bridge, designed by British architect Sir Norman Foster, will provide a new motorway link between Paris and the Mediterranean. Vehicles will travel on it at the height of 270m and will cost motorists about 4.6 euros a trip.



Source: BBC News

Friday, December 10, 2004

Five die in heavy metal shooting

I grew up listening to Thrash Metal music. Early Pantera albums were among my favourites. So it saddened me when I heard of the news that Damageplan's 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott was killed but a gun nut during a club gig. The former Pantera guitarist was shot several times. Four other people were also killed in the rampage.


Thursday, December 9, 2004

Nintendo's DS beats sales target

According to BBC News, Nintendo has so far sold more than a million Nintendo DS since going on sale on 21 November 2004. I don't know about you, but that is a lot of DSes. Such figures would probably shut the doomsayers who were predicting Nintendo's death since 1994.

I am not surprise that the DS is a hit. I saw a commuter on a London bus last week and he had a DS (he got a US import) and design wise I think its a hit. He was playing a Mario game - can't remember what its called - and it looks fun.

Source: BBC News

Hot laptops can damage men's fertility

Teenagers and young men should keep their laptops off their laps because they could damage fertility, an expert says.

Laptops, which reach high internal operating temperatures, can heat up the scrotum which could affect the quality and quantity of men's sperm.


Man, I am glad I don't use laptops now.

Source: Yahoo! News UK

Why Tintin remains young

The Canadian Medical Association Journal has published an article on why Tintin never aged during his career. The study revealed that this was because he has repeatedly received blows on his head which triggered a growth hormone deficiency.

What a waste of time, but its still interesting. Apparently this is not the first of CMAJ's stories into ailments of fictional characters.

In 2000 they revealed that Winnie the Pooh's obsession with honey was because he suffers from psychological issues among them Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and obsessive-copmpulsive behaviour.

Winnie's friends did not escape the doctor's assessments either. Piglet was deemed to suffer from anxiety disorder and needs anti-panic medication while Eeyore was chronically depressed. Tigger was deemed to be hyperactive while Christopher Robin has gender issues and needs parental guidance.

They also concluded that Squirrel Nutkin, a creation of Beatrix Potter, was autistic!

Source: Yahoo! News

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Film Review: Blade: Trinity

Caught this tonight at the special preview at my local cinema. Not too bad. Liked it better than the second one. Violence wise its quite brutal with raw energy but it sadly lacks the gore level seen in other Blade films.

Wesley Snipes looks tired in the title role hence the reason why I believe this will be the last Blade movie. Well at least the last one with Wesley Snipes. Jessica Biel looks fine in her role as vampire slayer sidekick and the guy from Van Wilder looks just like Jason Lee. Even his role in humour is very Jason Lee like. I prefer if they got the real Jason Lee rather than Ryan Reynolds. They also got an English guy to play the typical villain this time as Dracula.

If you are looking for a movie with high kinetic energy this is it.

6.5/10

PalmOS for Linux

PalmSource has purchased a China based mobile phone company called China MobileSoft which specialises in embedded LinuxOS mobiles. The point is to create the popular PalmOS GUI and API on top of the LinuxOS. PalmSource has stated that the new version will sit along side PalmOS 5 Garnet and PalmOS 6 Cobalt and not to replace them.

My take on this is PalmSource might be intending to create a cheaper OS that it can sell. Also, China MobileSoft has a vast network of inside knowledge in China's mobile market. I think PalmSource is doing the right thing here. What they are buying from CMS is not only the Linux optimization knowledge but also an entry into China's expanding mobile phone market (5 million a month sold). Another great thing I can think of is applications that work on mobile Linux and the thousands of existing PalmOS applications can work on this PalmOS version if they are properly coded.

You can read PalmSource's press release on the acquisition here. If you care, there is an open letter to the PalmOS community as well as an open letter to the Linux community. A FAQ is available here.

A note here, Palm, Inc. originally wanted to take PalmOS forward into Linux a few years back before the company split. However they finally settled on BeOS.

Sunday, December 5, 2004

World's first anti-mosquito mobile phone

I was browsing through German mobile phone reseller website Nowicom and came across this neat little mobile phone called the Mobile Shot TDG-9920. The mobile is the first of its kind to feature a built-in mosquito repellent function using ultrasonic waves. Bizarrely it also features built-in acupressure reader function as well as a bio-rhythm reader. The phone function is not as extensive though. Yes, it does have a CMOS 0.3Mp camera and GPRS but it lacks Bluetooth.



Source: Nowicom

Friday, December 3, 2004

eReader free e-books everyday

eReader is gving a free e-book everyday for the month of December. Make sure you check it out. You can read them on the PalmOS platform, Pocket PC platform, MacOS or your Windows PC.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Hotmail upgrade

Well Hotmail has finally upgraded my account to 250Mb. Not that I use it - but atleast those spammers spamming me would know that there are some nice extra space for where their junks will go.

Yahoo! Mail has not yet implemented the 250Mb upgrade on their service although promised a couple of weeks ago.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Is JFK's life more important that thousands of others?

There is a new game out called JFK Reloaded. For just US$9.99, you can play as Lee Harvey Oswald and assassinate US President John F. Kennedy.

In the US, reaction has so far been of outrage regarding the content of the game. Personally I do not buy the Warren Commission's argument that Lee Harvey killed JFK but putting that aside - I still do not see the reason why many Americans are angry at the publisher for selling an 'immoral' game.

Lets see. Command & Conquers: Generals? Players gets to control US forces killing middle eastern people. The many various games based on real wars such as World War II, Vietnam War and thousands of years ago wars. All features the killing of innocent people. Vietnamese are treated as baddies in Vietnam war games and all must die. What about films such as the grossly misleading Black Hawk Dawn?

And what about the real life situation of Iraq and Guantanamo Bay? Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi children, men and women has been murdered by so called smart bombs. I don't see anyone complaining about that!

HTC Magician review...coming soon


HTC Magician: a PDA, a mobile phone, a web surfer, a e-mail checker, a dictionary, a game console, a video player, a music player, a digital camera etc

Sold off my HP iPAQ h4150 and its accessories. My Nokia 7610 is still awaiting in eBay but its climbing slowly. If it does hit my target price, I would actually get back some money by selling the h4150 and the 7610 and getting this expensive little thingy.

Ever since eons ago I have always wanted a hybrid phone because during the 6 months spring/summer period I do not have enough pockets for my gagdets, wallet, keys, coins etc. But the ones released were always although excellent, were just too big. Exception is the Treo 650 but there is no GSM version yet.

Anyway, this is due to arrive in a couple of days as it is shipping from Germany (with a German language ROM - but the HTC English ROM is due soon). It is not a huge upgrade from my h4150. 416Mhz, 64Mb RAM, 64Mb ROM, QVGA 2.8" LCD screen, GSM/GPRS, Bluetooth v1.2, 1.3Megapixel and 1200mAh Li-Ion battery. What I do lose is the WiFi capability but I don't care. I only use WiFi on the h4150 a couple of times. What I need now is a 2Gb card as my 512Mb card is seriously lacking.

How I am going to laugh at those city slickers who have to juggle three to four devices (mobile, RIM BlackBerry and/or PDA and iPod).

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Worm Spread by Banner Ads

Several variants of the Bofra worm is being spread through banner ads in various European Web sites.

This attack takes advantage of a well known buffer overflow flaw on Internet Explorer 6 and has been confirmed on computers running Windows XP Service Pack 1 and Windows 2000. PCs running Windows XP Service Pack 2 are unaffected.

What's up with that? First, I cannot believe people are still clicking on banner ads. Second, people with Windows XP should really patch their PC to Service Pack 2. And third, why are people still using Internet Explorer 6 to surf the web? Use a more secure, faster and generally better web browser like
Mozilla, Firefox or Opera.

Source:
Yahoo! News

Sunday, November 21, 2004

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here

Well, the fourth series of hit reality TV show I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here hits the screen tonight. Usually I would tend to advice people to stay clear up such dumbed down TV shows but this year we have former All Saints Natalis Appleton and model Sophie Anderton!


Sophie Anderton

The series starts at 9pm on ITV1 tonight and will be hosted by the forever annoying and humourless Ant & Dec. Stay clear and instead catch the Ant & Dec free ITV2 version.

Film Review: The Incredibles

Advance screening yesterday. Very nice film. Has a short animation on the front - can't remember the title but its good too.

Regarding the main feature, it is more adult orientated than previous Pixar films. The movie even has loads of human death (montage of cape related gruesome deaths). But its good and nothing that would stop kids from enjoying it. There are some jokes that they probably would not understand yet.

The film is done ala 70s Hanna Barbara style super hero animations.

This is probably the best film released this year. I would probably watch this again next week. I do hope Pixar would continue churning out more animation aimed at adults.

Simple incredible!

9/10

Dubya averts war!

Wow! This is the first time George W. Bush has ever did something that actually stopped people from being murdered.

A confrontation was about to happen between his lead Secret Service agent and Chilean security officials. After Dubya stepped inside the complex hosting the APEC summit (a bunch of people discussing how to fleece their own citizens), the Chileans attempted to bar the US agent from entering. A scuffle ensued before Bush, displaying a courage that one would not expect from a person of his intellect, pulled his bodyguard away from the fracas and into the building.

Source: Yahoo! News

Friday, November 19, 2004

I was right

Well Julie from o2 'resolution department' at Cardiff finally called me. I was right to have WAP GSM minutes being inclusived of my tariff minutes. The situation was they had two sets of computers one being outdated. A memo is now being circulated to reflect this.

Thank you!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

A long rant

o2 customer service seems to be dying to challenge Singlepoint 4U as the worst mobile phone related company with bad services in the UK. Why? Read on... This is a long rant so be prepared.

After four years with Vodafone/Phones 4U I decided to switch to o2 as my mobile phone service provider. The duo has been snitching me up for years bleeding me of my money. o2 instead offered better mobile prices, tariffs and have online support.

Now, I signed up for this little tariff called o2 Leisure Time Plus which features a 1000 minute off-peak call and 100 text. It costs £20 a month and for the first six month I have double minutes and double texts. It is cheap but I only need to make calls during the evenings and weekends so it suits me fine.

You see when I signed up in September, I was sold to the tariff because the 1000 minutes includes UF fixed-line calls, WAP over GSM data calls, calls to o2 mobiles and calls to other UK mobiles (Cross-Net). Now I was more interested in the WAP over GSM data calls thingy as that would mean I would be able to connect to the internet over GSM to download my e-mails, weather information and tid bits of information.

The only way previously to obtain free WAP over GSM was to sign up through o2 online. Fortunately this time o2 High Street were offering a better deal than the online one. 2000 minutes for the first six months off-peak which I can divide up for my e-mail checking and calling up my girlfriend. Great!

Tuesday, I opened up my o2 online account to view my bill. £59 for October! What the fuck! I viewed the online summary and then did a detailed check on my calls. All my o2 WAP over GSM calls were being charged at 10p per minute. I was furious and send an e-mail off to their customer service. Got back a reply that stated that my inclusive minutes does not include WAP over GSM. Send of a reply threatening to take the issue with
OFTEL.

Today I went to my local o2 High Street store. I spoke with this bloke who agreed with me but needed to check with o2's customer service first. He called o2 who told him that my tariff does not include WAP GSM. He asked another staff at the store for her opinion. She agrees with me. So he called customer service for me and I spoke with this guy called Jeff. Now Jeff seems to be a nice bloke and he agreed to help me. After some persuading he talked to his manager and some 'technical' guys. All of them concluded that WAP GSM is not inclusive! They even confused GPRS with GSM.

Jeff finally spoke with one of the store manager, Martinez. She was bounced back through several people before finally calling o2 data support. Presumably these are the people who deals with GPRS issues. The data support people agreed with her that my tariffs includes GSM WAP. Now we are getting somewhere. Unfortunately o2 data support can't rectify the issue and they can't contact o2 customer service themselves so we were bounced back again!

I chatted with customer service again (different guy) who bounced me off to customer department! This time Martinez went to get her o2 staff store guide. These are guides created for o2 high street staffs. She found in the tariff page that specifically states (not in small print) that all inclusive minutes on the o2 Leasure Time tariffs includes internet access through the 915000 or +447712927927 numbers. That is the big proof!

Anyway, I got bumped into 'billing'. The lady in billing did not believe me. Eventually she asked me to fax her the o2 November catalogue! Now at this point the whole situation was funny because it seems that the people working at o2 who deals with customers does not have any catalogue with them! It is plain ridiculous!

Sarah, another o2 manager finally helped me send the fax to them. When the lady finally received the fax, she even wanted to argue that it was not on the small print! Finally after some careful reading (like reading to a four year old child) I finally pointed out the section. Pause. Quiet. She probably realized that she was a fool! I was put on my fourth 15 minute hold while she gets the supervisor. When she finally gets back to me she told me that my problem has to be taken up with the 'resolution department' and she promised that they will get back to me.

Two hours and no results! All I am told is they will get back to me. I know I am right because the proof is there in the high street customer catalogue and in the staff store guide. The staffs at the store agrees with me. The techie people at o2 data support agrees with me. The one that does not are the clueless people at customer support, customer department, billing department and their supervisors and managers. The same people who does not have customers catalogue at their disposal and are clueless to what is going on in their company. And the amount of red tape I had to go through and different holds and through different departments was just plain mad.

H
opefully this problem will be settled. I just wonder that even if this is solved, there are thousands of people on o2 Leasure Time who does not know that they have a right to inclusive WAP GSM. Most of them probably won't bother connecting to the internet on their mobiles but I am sure some will.

Thanks to Martinez (Happy Birthday), Sarah and the other bloke (I did not catch your name) for putting up with me!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Half-Life 2 released

Forget Halo 2. The sequel for real gamers is Half-Life 2 and after six years of waiting, its finally here. The graphics while similar in style to the two year old No One Lives Forever 2, it is still fantastic. My two year old Athlon XP PC was capable to churning out the pixels required to make this game playable at 800x600 resolution.


UK Broadband increase in speed

While the UK remains the laughing stock of Europe and the World at large in offering broadband services, countries like Japan has been offering speeds up to 50Mbps.

UK Online, a UK based ISP, has just recently released a 8Mbps broadband service and will be using BT's exchanges. For your £39.99 a month plus the initial £50 connection fee users are also able to have upload speeds up to 400Kbps.


While still shy of the current Japan average of 12-25Mbps this is still good news. The monthly price is high, which UK Online should be able to enjoy until competitors like Wannadoo get their act together. The connection fee is a huge dent though.

Why is there even a need for an engineer to come over to do something magically with your phone socket? In Japan, Yahoo BB army of street chuggers would sign you up, hand you an ADSL modem in a bag which you can then set it up yourself with the supplied software.

Source:
UK Online

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Yahoo! mail upgrades

Yahoo! is to upgrade its mail service with a new key anti-spam component called DomainKeys. It is an authentication technology similar to Sender Policy Framework (SPF) which suppose to twarf spoofing.

Yahoo! is also increasing the amount of free e-mail storage for its users from 100Mb to 250Mb. This is great news for me as I am already using 70% of my 100Mb space. The maximum e-mail attachment size will also increase from 10Mb to 20Mb. Some might say that 250Mb is small compared to the 1Gb offered by Google's quite overrated Gmail service.

However I am still waiting for the time when Yahoo! finally decides to offer IMAP synchronization service. Also patiently waiting for technology acquired from Oddpost to be implemented into Yahoo! Mail.

On other related news, Hotmail was supposed to have upgraded their e-mail storage to 250Mb 'this fall'. However my inbox still reads a pathetic 2Mb. Come on Microsoft, I need those space for all my spam!

Source: PCWorld

US Army commits war crime

Well just when they are busy prosecuting Saddam Hussein over alleged war crimes, the US army themselves are murdering unarmed enemy combatant in breach of the Geneva Convention. I am sure we will hear some lame excuses such as "This is a foreign fighter, therefore he is not covered under the Geneva Convention". Pathetic.

Source: MSNBC News

Monday, November 15, 2004

Film Review: Bad Santa

After the disaster that was Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, we decided we wanted to watch a real comedy. This was the next day which let us recovered from the memories of bad acting.

Bad Santa which was released last year in America finally receive a nationwide release in the UK. It stars Billy Bob Thornton which means it has to be good.

The film revolves around a plot to break into a safe of a shopping department. Willie (Billy Bob) is the Santa and his little helper is Marcus (Tony Cox). Every year they do this. Earning the trust of the mall's proprietor's and then on Christmas eve cleaning them out.

While Billy Bob was very good as Bad Santa, the real star of the film is Brett Kelly as the fat kid. The jokes while very 'American' is very simple to understand and you will be laughing your socks off. They are nice one-liners throughout the film that is outrageous.

This is truly a one-off this year. I can't imagine another film like this out in the next few months able to create a smile of satisfaction on my face. Damn fuckin' recommended.

8.5/10

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Film Review: Anacondas, The Hunt for the Blood Orchid

This has got to be the worst movie of all time that receives mainstream release.

My fellow cinema goers in West India Quay seems to think so too. Well the way they laugh seems to indicate that they were laughing at how stupid or bad the acting was.

A short cap. A bunch of scientist working for a pharmaceutical company goes of to Borneo in search for a flower called the Blood Orchid. Part of their group includes a comic black guy, sexy white girl and the obligatory British villain.

Once in Kalimantan part of Borneo, they hire this really tough looking guy who has the best cheesy punch lines, to guide them through the river. Why they did not hire a helicopter in the first place is beyond me - but hey - this is a Hollywood movie.

There, they start meeting death by the CGI Anacondas. Well, first mistake was there are NO Anacondas in Borneo. Anacondas are Amazon river snakes. They should have named the movie pythons.

The CGI 'Anacondas' are very disappointing. Following other movie sequels where more is good - this film just emphasize what is wrong with Hollywood remakes or sequels. In Aliens, we have more Aliens compared to Alien. It was a good thing because they used animatronics. Here we have god damned CGI snakes. My point? Unless the producers can hire good animators, CGI should be consigned to matters that are unfilmable.

The only saving grace is the movies is so bad that it is funny. Kinda like you go out to watch films like Gigli just to laugh at the bad acting of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. The only problem with Anacondas is you will be laughing at a bunch of D-list nobodies.

2/10

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Film Review: The Grudge

This American remake of a Japanese remake by the same director follows an American exchange student (Sarah Michelle Gellar) in Tokyo, Japan. She agrees on a temporary care for an elderly foreign woman who is staying in a haunted house.

There she meets this young boy and saw a ghost taking the life of the old lady. What goes on for the next one hour is the people who has entered the house being haunted. Some of the narratives was done through backward editing (ala Pulp Fiction). The film while eerie at first has no substance and the creepiness that are in many Japanese horror is oddly missing here.


The acting was sub par with Bill Pullman being the most interesting character on the remake. The young kid was also good but all he does is open his jaw wide.

My take on this is wait for the DVD release and watch it with your friends. They will be scared shitless - and you can enjoy the sights of them pissing their pants. Why? Because I trust you to know that this film is not at all scary.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Arafat dies

A great statesman has passed away today. However with death also comes new hope. The creation of a Palestinian state should continue and hopefully with it comes peace.



Yasser Arafat will forever be remembered for his courage in protecting the cause and people of Palestine and promoting the creation of a Palestinian state. Unfortunately there are people who are determined to undermine his work. These people wishes to continue the illegal siege on the people of Palestine.

But former enemies can become friends. Like France and Germany. It is just sad that the he was not able to live to see the creation of an independent Palestine state which can live side by side with its old foe.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Reminder: Lord Mayor's Show

Bonfire Night might be over but there is still more to come. This Saturday (13th Nov - happy birthday Jeremy!), there would be the usual Lord Mayor's Show and fireworks display in Central London.



As always the day begins with the Lord Mayor parade which leaves the Guildhall at 11:00, heads down Princes St and picks up the Lord Mayor at Mansion House. The route will include Cheapside to St Paul's Churchyard, then Ludgate Circus and the former spiritual home to British journalism - Fleet Street. It will stop at the Royal Courts of Justice before continuing towards the Victoria Embankment, Upper Thames St and Mansion House. Finally it will make its way back to the Guildhall by mid-afternoon.



At 17:00, a fireworks display in tribute to
Guy Fawkes failed attempt to blow up the House of Parliament would occur over the Thames. This might just be one of the most amazing public displays in the West End. River barges would be piled up with explosives. The fireworks would then be let off on the Thames between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridge just a whisker away from Guy Fawkes' failed target. There would be seats in the public gallery at Oxo Tower but you have to come early.

The nearest tube station would be Embankment and Blackfriars.

This would be my second outing on this event. The first one few years ago was a mess because I did not plan ahead. I will post some pictures of the day's event when I have the time.

Firefox 1.0

The official release of Firefox 1.0 has finally come. Even the big news media like the BBC are taking notice and giving it the coverage it deserves.

This is good news. Come on people. Ditch Microsoft Internet Explorer and surf the web faster and safer with Firefox.

Film Review: Super Size Me

The local cinema finally got down and released Super Size Me last weekend. Finally after months of waiting I got to see what the hyped was.

The film was well wait I would say. There are times that I felt that there were some acting going on - but hei, I never had a super size meal deal in front of me so I wouldn't know how to act sick. I think its only available in America. The last time I was in McDonalds (on a Sunday two years ago in there was an American family there who ordered the largest meal that was available. I overheard them complaining it was not enough. Weird!

Well the docu-film has finally put me off processed food. I have not been to McDonald's for years but occasionally I do visit other fast food eateries such as Subway, Burger King and the many KFC clones (including KFC of course) out there. Imagine a McSalad actually containing more calories than some of their burgers. And sugar too!

McDonalds UK has been on an attacking front delivering spam, sorry, leaflets to homes encouraging people to eat at one of their outlets! The as ever annoying 'I'm Luvin' It' advertisments seems to be doubling. High carb bagels, processed salads, sugary vogurts etc. All these are unhealthy too.

Back to the film - go see it while you still have the chance. Purchase more organic products. And boycott all these fast food outlets. If you have to eat out - choose a real restaurant that actually cooks.

8/10

Saturday, November 6, 2004

What a uniter!

"You are either with us or you will kill yourself!"

Would this happen if the prat wasn't re-elected? Conveniently announced after the election.

Other news:

They died for oil, says family of of dead. Heartless goverment states that families anger are not justified if their childrens are dead! Spin was applied immediately when remark proved extremely unpopular.

Friday, November 5, 2004

Apple forces users to upgrade

In move usually associated with Microsoft, Apple has surprised many of its early adopter customers by forcing users of old versions of iTunes to upgrade to its latest version if they want to continue purchasing music online. It also means users of third party add-ins on their old iTunes would find most of the plug-ins unable to operate on the new version.

Why would anyone still want to purchase an iPod is beyond me. It only supports the old MP3 format as well as AAC (MP4). Where is the WMA support? What about the open source and free of royalty OggVorbis? And its not even pretty!

There are way better digital audio portable players out there than the Apple iPod. At a cheaper price too. And longer battery life.


Source: CNet

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Inglorious Bastards won't be Quentin's next film

Quentin Tarantino has announced his next film will be a kung-fu based shot in Chinese Mandarin language and not as expected the World War II movie, Inglorious Bastards.

He is also planning to shoot a second version of the film, dubbed with a deliberately out-of-synch English soundtrack.

I am a fan of all of Tarantino's works including Kill Bill. While I can't wait for Inglorious Bastards to be released hopefully in 2006, I don't mind another mainstream kung-fu flick. Hell, I enjoyed Kill Bill's kinetic action far more than most Hong Kong kung-fu films released over the past few years.


Hopefully this would be old school kung-fu without all the 'artistic' crap that began with the overrated Crounching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. And I do pray he would get a real martial arts veteran like Donnie Yen rather than casting a fat bloke to play the hero (Chow Yun-Fatt). And please stop the trend of flying over water and trees nonsence.

The proposed second version in English in in my opinion is rather stupid. Chinese movies should be Chinese movies and not created to be English dubbed. Basically all foreign movies that are dubbed in another language is unpalatable. Its plain unwatchable and should be banned because it creates headache for people watching them. Don't mind subtitles.


There is almost zero information regarding the movie cast, release date, plot or location so I would only speculate on what I hope. I have a gut feeling we will see Pai Mei (of Kill Bill). The film would shot in mainland China with the same Chinese crew he used for Kill Bill: Volume II. It would be old school kung-fu that does not have any aesthetic or artistic rubbish in it.

I am still waiting for a proper sequal to the Jet Li Vs Donnie Yen fight in Once Upon a Time in China II (Hero does not count - it was too cheesy).

Source: BBC News

How to replace your Zaurus's original ROM with OpenZaurus

Just bought one of those very cheap and nifty Sharp Zaurus of eBay and not happy with Sharp's Linux distribution?

This site will guide you on replacing the
ROM image on the Zaurus and replacing it with another Linux distribution called the OpenZaurus. You can choose from two GUI - GPE or Opie or you could go for a Bootstrap without any GUI installed.



Source:
Linux Journal

Monday, November 1, 2004

Want a mp3 player?

Want a digital music player that is capable of playing mp3 as well as displaying photos? Well, check out this tiny Archos Gmini 400, it is cheaper than a iPod and has a nice colour screen capable of not only displaying photos, but also playing DivX videos and games. It only weighs 160g, has a 20Gb harddrive and a 2.2" LCD display capable of displaying 18-bit colour. It even comes with a built-in Compact Flash slot. Along with ancient mp3 format, it is also capable of playing audio files in wma and wav format as well as XviD and Mpeg4 video format.

Want a portable PVR? Why not get the Archos AV400 series? The
AV480 comes with a large 80Gb harddrive capable of recording up to 320 hours of TV programs from your TV, VCR, DVD player, cable or satellite receiver. The battery has enough juice for 4 1/2 hour of video playback though the large 3.8" LCD display with 18-bit colour support. Video format supported includes Mpeg4, XviD and DivX. It is quite heavy at 320g but still portable enough.

Can't get Archos in your country? Then go for the new iRiver H340. The H340 does not support video playback, but it does have a nice 2" LCD screen capable of 18-bit colour. The screen can display both texts and images (jpg and bmp). It does not come with any memory card slots but you can still transfer images from your digital camera directly through a USB cable (the H340 has USB host functionality). The battery life is rated at 16 hours. And to top it off - it has built-in FM radio which you can use to listen AND record straight to your player. The 40Gb player supports mp3, wma and OggVorbis audio format. They also sell the cheaper H320 version which has a 20Gb harddrive.

Don't need stinking colour? Just want a portable cheap digital music player with high battery life? Then get the excellent Rio Carbon which has 5Gb capacity. The Carbon even looks way better than its rival - the bland Apple iPod Mini. It only supports mp3 and wma, but is capable of going on for 20 hours of battery life on a single charge. And better yet, it is cheaper than the iPod Mini making it an excellent value for money.

Is audio quality far more important? Try the Rio Karma then. It has a 20Gb harddrive in it, 15 hours of battery life and capable of playing the excellent audio format - the OggVorbis. The interface is excellent and is the design is a true marvel to friendliness.

ITV3 launches today

For those with Freeview DVB-T, re-tune your box today and you can receive ITV's newest channel. It would be broadcasted on Freeview 34 as well as ntl8 & 118 and Telewest 116.

Film Review: Finding Neverland

Well I went to the cinema on Halloween night expecting to watch The Grudge but it was sold out. Instead it was Finding Neverland then.

Ah Johnny Depp. He was excellent in the last film I saw him in - The Pirates of the Caribbean. Kate Winslet was not so in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

The first 10 minutes of the film was fine. Then the 'Scottish' accent kicked in. It was very weird watching an American actor trying to speak in another accent other than their Hollywood one. I had a feeling that Johnny Depp could have pulled a better accent out of his tongue but was asked to speak in a slower gear as not to confuse the untrained American ears who are expected to pay to watch this. I pulled a bunch of reviews from the internet and most weren't disturbed by the accent. In fact the only people who noticed that the accent was weird were British reviewers. Am I correct in stating that this film (and his accent) was targeted at an American audience? I think so!

The next one hour was tedious to watch. Here you have a guy, who was ignoring his beautiful wife (and sleeping in a separate bedroom), hanging out with a widow and four kids (the true story has five children) everyday. You could see if this was happening in today's modern society, the playwright J.M. Barrie who Depp's plays would have been arrested immediately and sent to prison or tagged for the rest of his pitiful life. I felt that the scene where his wife Mary was 'caught chatting' with another guy was deliberately inserted to shift the blame to her.

In any case - this film was very fake. The story was obviously based on a true story, but truths has been distorted as with most Hollywood films. Some of the flaws are more apparent than others such as Barrie actually knew the Davies's family long before Sylvia became a widow. But even so, even if the flaws were not real flaws - the film as a whole was disturbing. The acting was average at best - and certainly not worthy of Oscar consideration. The whole Sylvia-Barrie relationship should not have took center stage.

Yes the film is a fictional version of what was a true story. I wished Hollywood would stop doing such things like rewriting the history. If they wanted to tell a story about a playwright who befriended a family - then do so - but do not base it on real people who once live.


But even if the issue of straying away from the real truth does not matter to the viewer (it did not to me at first), Finding Neverland totally lack substance and direction. You would really need to be in fantasy land to be able to digest this film properly.

4/10

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

palmOne Treo 650 released

palmOne has officially announced the Treo 650. Previous speculations on the specifications seems to be spot on except that instead of the rumoured 1.3 Megapixel digital camera sensor, it would instead be a VGA sensor. Its not something that I would cry about - but palmOne should have done better here especially if its priced at US$599.

Pricing is not available for the UK yet. I do suspect that it would be released on Orange first and hopefully on other networks later. A price of £199 inc. with contract would be pretty reasonable but somehow I suspect the carriers would try to push for more.


John Peel died

Legendary BBC Radio 1 and Radio 4 DJ jockey has passed away today in a heart attack while on a working holiday in Peru with his wife. He was 65.

He will be long remembered as the resident DJ who championed underground music and bands that were unknown such as The White Stripes and Napalm Death. He will be sorely missed. No other DJs has the guts to sample and promote unknown music genres like him.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Top Gear returns

The new series of Top Gear is here. It was shown yesterday on BBC2 and looks set to be the most outrageous season so far.

The first episode was a little disappointing. We had Jeremy Clarkson reviewing the new Porsche
911 Carrera S. Well he had some bias but I think he is wrong to say Porsche built the exact same car as the old one. Is he blind?

Jeremy Clarkson finally eats his hair in this episode. His hair was prepared by none other than celebrity chef,
Anthony Worrall Thompson who conjures up a 'hair omelette'.

There would be a
Restoration rip-off with the first episode dedicated to highlight the first option - James Dean's Lotus which could have saved his life (if it was delivered on time). For the next five weeks - Top Gear would be looking at a different car that the viewers would be able to vote for it to be saved and restored.

We have
Bill Bailey, the old rocker and comedian whom I am sure many Malaysians reading this would not know about - but anyway, he is the star of the reasonable priced car.

Another destruction was featured this week - but no this time it does not involve old Volvos or caravans. Instead they tried to see how many bouncing castles an ice cream truck could jump over.

The supposed highlight of this episode was the head on test between an ugly Vauxhall Monaro VXR, the fat Chrysler 300c and the Jaguar S type R done on the beach at Wales. The winner was the Vauxhall which costs more than £30k. Yeah, spend £30k on a car that looks like a Japanese car stuck in the early 1990s.

I have some vid caps of my DVB recording of the show. When I have time to pull them together I will update this post with the screenshots.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Windows Mobile 2005 news

Brighthand has some interesting information of the next Windows Mobile for Pocket PC iteration. Code named Magneto and rumoured to be called Windows Mobile 2005, the Pocket PC GUI will run on top of the Windows CE.Net 5 (current Pocket PCs run on CE.Net 4.2). There would be some improvements to bring the Pocket PC OS functionality from 1980 to 2005, among other things Pocket Word would support tables (Wot? You mean the current version does not) and ability to display numbered lists.

Anyway, this is good news for people like me who are looking at excuses not to dump my Pocket PC 2003 PDA for the new Pocket PC 2003 SE PDAs such as the Hewlett Packard iPAQ hx4700. The other good news is palmOne still have the chance to tempt me on their PalmOS 6 device when summer 2005 comes.

Source: Brighthand

Film Review: Alien Vs Predator

This is shortest review I have ever written partly because I am lazy and partly because the movie has completely no substance which gives me no reason why I should promote it.

What a disappointment - even the craps that were Predator 2 and Alien: Resurrection feels like a classic now. Alien Vs Predator tries too hard. It tried to create another female heroine but this time we know who it would be 10 minutes into the movie.

Rating: 3/10

Moscow MP ractifies Kyoto

Great news. Hopefully more will be done to cut polutions although the biggest polluter in the World - the United States (and its 51st state - Australia) isn't planning on backing it. Hmm...I thought once you agree to something - you should in principal follow it.

Source: BBC News

Thursday, October 21, 2004

nForce4 brings PCI-Express, SLI to AMD64

Finally, nVidia's new chipset designed for AMD64 family of processors is here. There will be three different chipsets to choose from: nForce4 SLI, nForce4 Ultra and a vanilla nForce4.


My last two home built PC runs on nVidia's nForce family - the first being the original buggy nForce which was on my MSI K7N420Pro and my current PC with EpoX's wonderful and classic nForce2 motherboard the 8RDA+ which contains the nForce2 SPP chipset and nForce2 MCP-T.

I am really looking forward to the retail release of motherboard's featuring this chipset. Finally SLI support for dual PCI-Express cards for AMD64 CPUs. The chipset would also support the new 3Gb/s SATA interface. How great is that? I am planning a whole sale upgrade of my PC (building a whole new PC) in the next six to ten months. By then prices of AMD64 CPUs would have dropped substantially.

I probably would not go for a SLI solution as its darn expensive to get two high end graphic card let alone one (£350 inc.). SLI solution is great - but I think its geared more towards graphics workstations.

Read the preview at HardOCP.

Source: nVidia

Windows for your automobile

Microsoft wants cars to be equipped with Windows CE OS. Sorry MS, but my Pocket PC PDA running the Pocket PC 2003 GUI on top of Windows CE is crashing daily requiring me to soft reset every time I run a couple of application. I do not want something that crashes every 100 miles that also happens to be moving at 70mph.

Source: ZDNet

Boy cured by designer baby cells

A six yead old boy with a rare blood disorder has been cured by British doctor using cells trasplanted from his babe brother who was created to save him.

While there are ethical issues concerning the creation of a human being for use of curing another human being, lets face it - this is the future of medical.

Source: BBC News

Free Pete Tong's Essenchill Ibiza

If you are a Londoner and planning to get the usual Evening Standard final edition this evening, make sure you pick up the free copy of MetroLife which comes with a free Pete Tong's Essenchill Ibiza CD. It is also an enchanced CD so the tracks are also available as mp3s. There are 10 tracks plus 20 bonus 4Play tracks.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

PDAMill two for one offer

PDAMill has a great offer for Pocket PC users who wants to purchase Anthelion, their wonderful 3D space simulator and Flux Challenge - the excellent 3D racer. If you purchase a copy of Flux Challenge, you will receive a copy of Anthelion.




Screenshots: Anthelion (Top), Flux Challenge

Source:
PDAMill

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Building a new PC

I got this Antec LanBoy mini tower case nearly two years ago when I was rebuilding my PC. And now its dying on me. Ever since I put a second harddrive, the USB port has not been supplying enough constant power. It could be my motherboard - but I suspect its the SmartBlue 350Watts ATX PSU that came with my LanBoy.

It might be time for me to get a new case or a new PSU. I am beginning to hate my LanBoy. The PSU has two fans - so its noisy as hell. I only have two other fan running which is my Aerocool Glacier and the stock HSF on my graphic card. My CPU fan is running at full 2400rpm speed since I am overclocking my AMD Athlon XP 2100+ to 2.17Ghz, but its not noisy at all. At times when I throttle the speed down to 1500rpm, my PC still makes enough noise to be heard outside my room.

Hell, I think I will wait for 6-10 more months before building a new PC. I already have my eyes set on the AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Socket 939. Reusing my collection of 1Gb DDR400 RAM could easily be done since the 3500+ supports PC3200. The only problem is I have yet to see a motherboard for AMD CPUs that support PCI-Express slot. I know VIA is preparing a chipset with PCI-Express support but when will it be sampled to manufacturers?


Right now the old junk is working fine for me. Its fine for running normal stuff but chokes when running new games and encoding DivX videos from my DVDs and TV recordings.

I hope to be able to re-use as much components from my nForceII powered PC on the new PC. But its not looking good. Because I want to finally move to SATA and PCI-Express platform, I can't reuse my harddrives (these can go into a harddrive enclosure or my girlfriend's PC) and graphic card (also can move to her PC). Obviously the only things I can re-use would be my Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T Digital TV tuner as it works on PCI slot and my 1Gb worth of PC3200 DDRAM.

So in 6-10 months time I would need the money for all of these:

AMD Athlon64 3500+ Socket 939
A A64 939-pin motherboard with PCI-Express support
A new ATX case
256Mb ATi Radeon X800 XT PCI-Express card
Two Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 10 200Gb SATA harddrive (for RAID 0)

Better start saving...

Robbie album to be sold as memory card

Robbie William's Greatest Hits album would be sold not only on the CD media but also on MMC cards.

There are no details what capacity the cards would be or whether the audio will be compressed to mp3 or WMA format. Hopefully the audio would be in PCM format because paying £29.99 for an album - I would expect to get the best possible quality of music.

I am not a Robbie fan. However I think this is a great idea. £29.99 is a bit too much - but thats the way it is if you are an early adaptor. In a couple of years, prices of flash memory would drop drastically - probably making it cheaper than CDs. Hopefully by then we will see more content distribution done though flash memory. Movies will one day be sold in Mpeg4 or DivX format on flash media and be truely plug & play on mobile devices.

Source: BBC News

Monday, October 18, 2004

Treo 650 sighted at palmOne's site

A blunder on palmOne's website pretty much confirm the existence of the Treo 650. Yummy. Judging by the site, it seems that there would be two colour versions available.



Source: BargainPDA

Erotic Gherkin takes top RIBA prize

RIBA has awarded the top Stirling price to 30 St Mary Axe also known as the Gherkin, Swiss Re Tower.

What were they thinking? The Gherkin is one of those buildings around London that should never been approved in the first place. Badly designed - it should have been built in the capital of weird sky scrapers instead - Shanghai, PR of China.

London would be getting some pretty interesting office buildings in the next few years such as the London Bridge Tower which would claim the title of the tallest building in London, and the Leadenhall Building.

London Bridge Tower looks mildly interesting but I think we have a winner in the design of Leadenhall Building which is still in proposal stage.

Current playlist

What music I have on my PDA now:

Stonebridge's Can't Get Enough
- Hed Kandi sytle music. After having listened to many of the Swedish DJ's singles on various Hed Kandi (and other) compilations - its great to listen to a whole album. Nice.




1. Can’t Get Enough feat Charlie King
2. Give A Little feat Rita Campbell
3. Put Em High feat Therese
4. Once In A Lifetime feat Da Yeene
5. Show You How feat Julie Morrison & Jay Soul
6. Freak On feat Ultra Nate
7. A Little Bit Crazy feat Stella
8. Deeper Love feat David Gordon
9. Desire feat Bonnie Bailey
10. Take Me Away feat Therese
11. Clorophilla (Put A Little Love) feat Isabel Fructuoso
12. Gotta Give It Up feat Kenny Thomas
13. Let’s Loze It feat Jay Soul
14. What A Day feat Chris Coco & Da Yeene
15. 60 Seconds

Groove Armada's The Best of Groove Armada
- A nice collection of their best dance works. Have not been a fan even though their single features heavily on many compilations. This might change my mind.




1. Superstylin
2. If Everybody Looked The Same
3. I See You Baby (Fatboy Slim remix)
4. At The River
5. My Friend
6. All Of Me (Lovebox Sessions)
7. Inside My Mind (Blue Skies)
8. Easy
9. Chicago
10. Purple Haze
11. Blame It On The Sun
12. Madder
13. But I Feel Good
14. Think Twice

Carcass' Heartwork
- British melodic grindcore cum Death Metal from the masters that brought us the incredible Necroticism : Descanting the Insalubrious, a classic that makes such 'bands' like Linkin Park or HIM sounds like George Michael.




1. Biried Dreams
2. Carnal Forge
3. No Love Lost
4. Heartwork
5. Embodiment
6. This Mortal Coil
7. Arbeit Macht Fleisch
8. Blind Bleeding the Blind
9. Doctirnal Expletives
10. Death Certificate
11. This Is Your Life

Angel Dust's Enlighten The Darkness

- Melodic European Death Metal, exceptional piece of work. Play this on a good set of speakers.



1. Let Me Live
2. The One You Are
3. Enjoy!
4. Fly Away
5. Come Into Resistance
6. Beneath The Silence
7. Still I'm Bleeding
8. I Need You
9. First In Line
10. Cross Of Hatered
11. Oceans Of Tomorrow

Others:

DAB recording of Radio 1's Pete Tong's Essential Selection 15th October 2004 in OggVorbis format (I was out and about so did not have time to listen to the live broadcast - its just handy I have my WinTV Nova-T to record the show in high quality mp3 format):

Michael Gray 'The Weekend' (Eye Industries)
Bodyrockers 'I Like The Way' (White Label)
Paul Johnson 'She Got Me On' (Yellow)
Gadjo 'So Many Times' (Subliminal)
U2 'Vertigo (Redanka's Remix)' (Island/Universal)
The 411 'Teardrops' (Sony)
Lemon Jelly 'Stay With You' (XL Recordings)
Lucien Foort 'Shine The Light' (White Label)
Mutiny 'Holding On (Eric Prydz Mix)' (Underwater)
Ethan 'In My Heart' (Back Yard Records)
Britney Spears 'My Perogative (X Press 2 Dub)' (Jive/BMG)
Slam 'This World' (Soma)
Phats & Small 'A Night Like Dis' (White Label)

::: DJ On The Phone - Demi
Demi 'Gearbox (Fuma Mix)' (White Label)

Sander Kleinenberg 'The Fruit' (White Label)
Alex Neri And Federico Loochi 'Aurora' (Tenax Recordings)
LFO 'Nuture (Remix)' (Warp)
Prisoners Of Sound 'Close 2 The Sky (Original)' (White Label)

::: House Rules With - Serious At The Cross
Big Moses 'Brighter Days (Grooveliser Remix)' (King Street Records)

::: The Buzz Chart - Compiled By DMC...
Insignificant Others 'Use My X' (Skyline)
Tom Vek 'If You Want (Playgroup Mix)' (Tummy Touch)
Kings Of Tomorrow '6pm' (Defected)
Bugz In The Attic 'Booty La La' (V2)
Red Carpet 'Alright' (Positiva)
::: Buzz No.1
Portobella 'Viva La Difference (MK & MTV Mix)' (Eye Industries/Island)

::: This Week's Essential New Tune
Deux 'Sun Rising Up (Dub)' (Urbana Recordings)

Shaznay Lewis 'You (Switch Mix)' (London)
Play Paul 'Love Song' (International DJ Gigolo)
DJ T 'Radiator' (2020 Vision)

::: Eclectic Selection
Unkle And Ian Brown 'Reign' (Global Underground)
Mylo 'Sunworshipper' (Breastfed)

::: Weekend Hot Mix
Buick Project 'Drop The Beat' (White Label)
Pete Tong & Chris Cox 'More Intensity (Conor Sax Re-Edit)' (White Label)
Infusion 'Better World (Winx Mix)' (Deconstruction)
Michael Burnes Pres Blue Haze 'Into Nothing (Hamels Last Time For 9 Voc Mix)' (Saw Recodings)
Who Da Funk 'In The Night(Robotix Mix)' (Subusa)


Saturday, October 16, 2004

Film Review: Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Caught this today. Had some high expectations with it. I enjoyed the original and expected to enjoy this too.

As with the original, BBFC gave this movie a rating of 15. Therefore the violence level should be pretty much kiddie level.

The film is based on Resident Evil 3 : Nemesis video game. It was apparently changed to Resident Evil : Apocalypse because of the failure of nerd movie - Star Trek : Nemesis. Plot is similar to the Nemesis game. It also shares plot development from Resident Evil - Code : Veronica.

Anyway, the film takes place a few years after the incident at The Hive. The re-opening of The Hive led to the release of the deadly T-Virus into Racoon City. Soon the city is infected with flesh eating zombies. Alice (Milla Jovovich) was also released and has to join forces with Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) and her posse to save themselves and escape the city.

Mean while, Matt Addison from the original Resident Evil has finally mutated into a creature called Nemesis. As usual things are not as they seem and there are some plot twists - nothing shocking if you have played the game. There are a couple of endings - but the final boss ending was very disappointing. The fight between Alice and Nemesis was plain boring - in cinematic terms. I guess it could rival The Mummy Returns ending in terms of stupidity.

A note - some people seems to mistaken the character Jill Valentine as Claire Redfield from Resident Evil - Code : Veronica - but she is not. Jill is Jill from the original Resident Evil and Resident Evil 3.

The complaints I had with the films is not enough violence, blood and gore. Hell, even the video game has more - I can't see why films such as Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later... (Christopher Eccleston - you are excellent!) can have much violence (and still be interesting) yet this sequal lacks both.

Milla Jovovich did show both her nipples (instead of just one as was in Resident Evil) this time though. It does helps bring up my overall rating of the film to 6 out of 10. 1/2 a point for each nipple.

Too bad the very fine Sienne Guillory did not show any of hers. I would give an extra point to view one of hers.

Tories should learn how to woo voters

The latest outburst in The Spectator (a magazine marketed at upper class elitist toffs) is a proof that the Tories are dead as a political force in the United Kingdom. Such mindless editorial approval from Boris Johnson (probably one of the few Conservative MPs I respect) only proof that the Tories are still making mistakes on how to lose votes. Boris Johnson should stick to writing features on arts and cars (in GQ) and leave politics to people who are capable.

By the way, Tony Bliar does have blood on his hands.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Current playlist

Fatboy Slim's Palookaville



Track Listings:

1. Don't Let The Man
2. Slash Dot Slash
3. Wonderful Night
4. Long Way From Home
5. Put It Back Together
6. Mi Bebe Masoquista
7. Push and Shove
8. North West Three
9. The Journey
10. Jin Go Lo Ba
11. Song for Chesh
12. The Joker


Slightly more mellow from his previous albums such as the underrated Halfway between the Gutter and the Stars, but equally as engaging. Groovy, catchy and mix of rock and dance. A fantastic album - not a classic - but still awesome - especially considering all that happened to Norman Cook in the past year (the Zoegate problem).

Hate those BlackBerry users?

Know someone you hate who happens to use a BlackBerry? Annoyed by those BlackBerry carrying Canary Wharf city slickers who earns and spends too much money and also happens to drive a SUV?

Well, send them a long meeting request with bunch of texts in the location field and set the time in the past and it will cause their device hard reset thus losing their important client and boss e-mails.

Of course I am not suggesting you to do this. ;) Okay... maybe to those 4x4 owners.

BlackBerry users who is keen to protect themselves from such attacks ought to update their software to version 3.8 or 4.0.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

HP hx4700 first impression & a rant

Played around with a new Hewlett-Packard iPAQ hx4700 and came out with mix feelings about it. It was too big for one especially when compared to my h4150. The case material was fine. The touch pad was quite annoying and I found myself unable to rest on it without incidentally triggering on a program.

The screen was both amazing and disappointing. As a VGA screen, the amount of pixels on the screen is plain awesome especially for viewing images. However the screen itself was dark and was not bright enough (although I set the brightness to maximum). The screen was also very reflective as though there is a glass over it much like those on newer Sony VAIO laptops. Very annoying.

The price was £450, the same price as the h4150 when it d├ębut. I got my h4150 for £230 after six months on the market. Hopefully by next March, it would come down below £300 and then maybe I would consider it - but right now the screen has too much problems to justify the price tag (the h4150 also has problems with the screen namely the yellow tint and washed out colours).

Where did I see it? Dixons Brent Cross. Was served by a mid aged lady. When it became clear that I was not going to purchase it, she yanked the device out of my hand said thank you and walked away. Typical Dixons staff attitude. Obviously she thought I would purchase the product after only 1 minute of fondling.

Anyway I should have known having had run ins with their ignorant management and untrained staffs for years. (They tried to sell me a Palm Tungsten T as a T3 - because the price tag said it was a T3 - how low can you get?) I should make it clear that not all Dixons staff are idiots. They just probably get a minimal training in how to trick and deceit customers out of their money. That is the Dixons Stores Group secret mantra.

Micro Anvika also sells the hx4700 for £450. Their staffs are extremely friendly, knows what they are talking about, are willing to show you a product even if you are not going to buy it and generally very ethusiat about technology as a whole. They do not chase sales and more importantly they are very polite to their future customers. If you want to buy a hx4700 today from a high street store - make sure you go to Micro Anvika and not Dixons (or one of those shoddy Tottenham Court Road stores).

Current playlist

Big Tunes: Living for the Weekend
releaseed 20th September 2004 by Ministry of Sound


A nice collection of club anthems including the current number one Call On Me by Eric Prydz. Other highlights includes Danzel's Pump It Up, Armand Van Helden's My My My and StoneBridge's Put Em High. I probably won't go through the compilation much yet when I am so busy this week. I will give it the pace it needs when my weekend starts this Friday afternoon.


CD2 includes the uncensored video of Eric Prydz's Call On Me. The quality is so so and is embedded into a Macromedia Flash file. If you want to get a quality video of it buy the DVD single.

CD One

1. Eric Prydz - Call On Me
2. Stonebridge feat Therese - Put Em High (JJ's Club Mix)
3. Armand Van Helden - My My My
4. Junior Jack - Stupidisco
5. Praise Cats - Shined On Me (Bini & Martini Re-Vocal Mix)
6. Boogie Pimps - Somebody To Love (DJ Flex Executive Club Mix)
7. DT8 Project - Sun Is Shining (Down On Me)
8. Stellar Project feat Brandi Emma - Get Up Stand Up
9. Soul Central - Strings of Life (Danny Krivit Re-edit)
10. UD Project - Saturday Night
11. MP Box feat Cheryl Porter - Fire It Up (Sandy Wilheim Remix)
12. Supacupa - Keep Movin On (Mike Di Scala Remix)
13. Danzel - Pump It Up (Club Mix)
14. Florida Inc - F**k It (I Don't Want You Back)
15. The Farm - Altogether Now (BCD Project Remix)
16. Divine Inspiration - The Way (Friday Night Posse Remix)
17. BM Dubs - Whoomp There It Is (FNP Remix)
18. Cascada - I Need A Miracle
19. Pulsatronix feat Danielle - Wrap Me Up (In Your Love) (Lee S Remix)
20. Lauren - Dreamboy (Pez Tellet Remix)

CD Two

1. Angel City feat Lara McAllen - Do You Know (I Go Crazy)
2. Dana Rayne - Object of My Desire (DJ Puddy vs Mark Simon Remix)
3. Khia - My Neck My Back (Lick It) (FNP Remix)
4. Candee Jay - If I Were You
5. Onyx - Every Little Time (Rezonance Q Remix)
6. Kristine Blond - Love Shy 2004 (BCD Project Remix)
7. Drunkenmunky - Yeah
8. Stuart - Free (Let It Be) 2004 (Quadrasonic Remix)
9. DJ Dex and A - Sweet Child of Mine
10. Benny Benassi presents The Biz - Satisfaction (Pez Tellet Remix)
11. Bel Air feat Lisa Scott Lee - Sunshine (Alex K Klub Remix)
12. Northern Heightz - Fly To You (Pez Tellet vs Northstarz Remix)
13. Lost Brothers - Cry Little Sister (Donk Remix)
14. Yomanda - You're Free (Calm Down Crew Remix)
15. Neon 8 - The Only Way Is Up
16. Insight - Only Your Love (Cheeky Trax Remix)
17. Titan 3 - Let Your Heart Go Free (Darren Styles Remix)
18. Rococco - Rhythmride (Dizzy Deejay's Mix)




BONUS. Eric Prydz - Call On Me VIDEO

Girls are now target of murder

20 shots into her, 5 of which went into her head. She was walking to school. She dropped her bag when soldiers attempted to assassinate her. She ran, they fired. She was carrying no bomb and no other weapons.

Another girl, a 10 year old, was standing in front of her house. Soldiers hiding from tanks fired at her stomach and leg, thus killing her.

Source: News Register, Al-Jazeera, BBC News

Monday, October 11, 2004

Dell AC adapter can kill

4.4 million Dell laptop power adapters is to be recalled because it could overheat and cause fire or shock. These adapters were issued between 1998 and 2002.

Why so late Dell? I bought a Dell Inspiron laptop back in 1998 and the adapter was as hot as hell. I complained but was told that it was within spec'ed. Now I found out that all these time I risked being killed for using their lousy laptop. Luckily I do not use Dell laptops anymore (or any laptops or Dell PCs although it is my wish to own a Sony X505).

Dell might sell cheap laptops, desktops, printers and PDAs but are the quality good? In my opinion - no. While the service is excellent in Malaysia (they sent a guy out on a bike to journey 100km to our home to replace the keyboard's key - which fell out another 5 times within the year), Dell products is often pronounced in the same tune as garbage.

And the service in the UK is crap. I had a friend who bought his Dell in China and had a World Wide warranty. Seven months on his laptop's screen would not power up. He spent hundreds calling Dell UK and China. From what he told me - Dell UK would not fix his laptop under warranty unless he transfered his service tag from China to UK. What a load of toss!

Remember, Dell is just another PC clone. They do not even make their own PC. You can get similarly priced and probably better spec'ed laptops from Hewlett-Packard or Toshiba. And you get a piece of mind as these manufacturers hardly screw their customers.

As for desktop - just build your own PC. It is dead easy and takes less than an hour.

I do not like to attack manufacturers for making faulty products and then recalling them. What I am concern is it took them six years to finally recall a potentially dangerous product. Did it took a couple of house fires and death of their customers to finally bring them to their senses? Was it cheaper to recall rather than face a lawsuit?

Source: ZDNet

Superman dies

Actor Christopher Reeves has died. He suffered a cardiac arrest at his New York home and slipped into a coma. As a result of an infection, he died this morning (UK time).

I remembered back in the 80s, Superman repeats was one of those films shown on TV that I would not miss. Even today watching those films, you would believe that a man can fly. And Christopher Reeves made it possible. As both Superman on and off the screen.


Saturday, October 9, 2004

PHP

Well, I received my Amazon UK order of Visual QuickPro Guide's PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites. Costed me £9.49. I haven't studied web language (HTML 4.0) for a long time - in fact since 1999 (when I self learn). My HTML needs brushing up and hopefully studying PHP would give my brain a kick. Flicking through the book it looks easy. We are due to receive an Apache server soon so hopefully my network project would be up and running in a few weeks.

Movie reviews (contain spoilers)

Since my last pointless film review, I have watched three new films in the cinema. Since I am lazy to write my through thoughts on each of them, I will just post my (long) summaries here:

Layer Cake:

Based on the book of the same name, this is a classic British gangster movie. The plot revolves around a nameless character (XXXX) who is a drug dealer making and selling Ecstasy pills. While hating the lime light, he is also gathering enough cash for an early retirement out of the drug World.


However complication arises when a bunch of clueless pikeys robs a million Ecstasy pills of a Dutch drug lord and XXXX was asked by his boss, Jimmy Price to buy the pills of the tossers and to find a girl. Shits happen and soon some Serbian assassin is on his tail and he found out that his boss wants to fuck him up.

An excellent British movie that is made to look as realistic as possible. While other gangster movie such as Guy Ritchie's Snatch and Lock, Stock... as well as the incredible stupid 51st State (aka Formula 51) are entertaining, they are far from realistic. These films glorify gangsters but Layer Cake does not. In fact Layer Cake just proves how dangerous the drug World is and totally not glamorous. There are some silly moments and the ending is a slight disappointing. Minus one point for not showing enough of the hot and sexy Sienna Miller (as Tammy) and playing 80s British music in the first one hour.

A 8/10 - even though it is the directional debut of Matthew Vaughn.

Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow:

Well, the CGI is NOT as good as The Lord of the Rings, but then again, Sky Captain was shot entirely in blue screen. Gwyneth Paltrow is as annoying as ever. Why can't someone tell her she can't act? Jude Law's acting was al right. It was Angelina Jolie's rather brief appearance that, in my opinion saved the movie. Overall an al right movie but very annoying in many parts. The acting is bad as a whole but what can you expect when all the actors see are blue in colour.

5.5/10

Bride & Prejudice

This summary is a little long because I just watched the movie today and its still fresh in my head.

Inspired by the Jane Austen's novel Pride & Prejudice, this film follows an Indian family in typical Bollywood style. Directed by Gurinder Chandha, the director of Bend it like Beckham, it was shot in India, Los Angeles, London and Ealing.

Straight to the point then. It was disappointing. It was tedious. The director tried to make a musical, Indian, English and American movie all into one - which is plain wrong. I understand why the production team wanted to shoot part of the movie in London because its a British movie - but it was so unnecessary and does not contribute to the development of the movie at all!

The humour is thin and the development of characters is short. The lyrics of the musics are cheesy does the voices does not sound like the actors and actresses voice. I have enjoyed alot of Bollywood film in the past and this ranks among the worst in terms of dancing and music.


The character of Mr Darcy is played by the bland and boring Martin Handerson (the guy in Britney Spear's Toxic video).

I guess the only thing redeeming about this movie is the sexy Aishwarya Rai who plays Lalita, a character loosely based on Elizabeth Bennet.

I also can't help but wish that Gurinder Chadha would start casting western women as the leading role falling for the Indian guy. For the pass few films, we have seen Indian female lead roles falling for handsome white men ignoring the Indian male (often portrayed in a negative role). It is not a major issue and one that I do not really care about. But I do wish for a change.

5.5/10